A touch of Strauss's Sunday best smashes Surrey
Middlesex Crusaders 315-6 Surrey Brown Caps 248 ANDREW Strauss smashed a limited-over best of 163 from 130 balls as Middlesex opened their Friends Provident Trophy campaign with victory over London rivals Surrey at the Brit Oval on Sunday, writes Simon
Middlesex Crusaders 315-6
Surrey Brown Caps 248
ANDREW Strauss smashed a limited-over best of 163 from 130 balls as Middlesex opened their Friends Provident Trophy campaign with victory over London rivals Surrey at the Brit Oval on Sunday, writes Simon Jackson.
Strauss, who failed with the bat in Middlesex's disappointing County Championship defeat at Leicestershire last week, silenced his critics with 163 runs in a 145-minute stand, to help Crusaders to a decisive victory.
Crusaders win followed last week's poor showing against Leicestershire, but skipper Ed Smith was thrilled with the character shown by his men.
"After a very disappointing defeat at Grace Road, it was vital that we bounced straight back at the Oval," Smith exclusively told Ham&High Sport.
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"Andrew Strauss played brilliantly and stamped his authority on the match. It was a big innings, not just for the game, but for the season," he continued. "We have a strong batting line up, and at least one of us should be making a potentially match-winning contribution each game."
On Sunday, Strauss joined Smith at the crease after the departure of opener Ed Joyce (42) and notched his century from his first 90 balls.
Smith (4) had quickly given way to the in-form Owais Shah, who capped an outstanding week by racking up 55 runs from just 56 balls to help Middlesex, who were promoted in last year's Pro40, to their first limited-overs win of the season.
In Leicestershire last week, England batsman Shah had exemplified Smith's comments with a brace of outstanding batting displays. Shah shared a stand with Smith (56) to rack up 116 off 203 balls for a 312 first innings total.
And then following the Grace Road outfit's reply of 405, Shah (50) gave the suddenly fragile Middlesex a boost after opener Strauss (7) was bowled and then Billy Godleman (2) was caught soon afterwards. But the Lord's outfit's reply of 258 all out was not enough to trouble Leicestershire (168-4), who won by six wickets.
l Middlesex entertain Kent in a second Trophy game at Lord's on Sunday.